The most important thing we can give our children is the knowledge pertaining to the true Self — that It is birthless and deathless — along with the methods that clear the veils that conceal this inherent knowledge from our minds. As Swami Vivekananda declares in his lecture, “Freedom of the Soul”
, nothing makes us so moral as this knowledge that the Self and God are one, and that we, ourselves, are responsible for our destiny and never bound by matter, Nature [paraphrased].
SRV’s mission – setting the feet of humanity on the path of universal Truth
– takes two intrinsically related approaches. First, the householder, the working person, the family person, the grandparent, aunts and uncles, must be taught the Vedanta and other darshanas for the removal of ignorance* so they cannot only free themselves, but be examples for the younger generation. Second, children and youth must be given deep and comprehensive teachings so that those who are to raise families will be natural teachers of their children from birth; so that those who remain single will serve a high ideal in all their activities; so that those who are called to a dedicated spiritual life will have the opportunity to recognize this and find support for it. Together, these two approaches counter the effects of materialism, superficiality, confusion, and depression that cause unnecessary suffering and the degeneration of society. [*”ignorance,” in spiritual terms, means the cloud of unknowing that covers awareness of our eternal Existence, Knowledge, and Freedom.]
“Sri Ramakrishna did not wear his detachment like a crown of thorns, but like a robe. Indeed, He was not like us; he was telling us to be like Him. He is God in human form. We have forgotten what that is like. People let children, pets, and money rule their lives. They are bound, and they teach their children to be bound. If I am free I can help others to be free. If I am bound, I teach others to be bound. What else?” -- Babaji Bob Kindler
Each summer, SRV offers a retreat that includes special classes for young people, called Chela Dharma (The Dharma of the Student), and a children’s class. Teens and young adults attend Chela Dharma, as well as all the adult classes and meditations. Young children (6yrs to 12yrs or so) have their own classes and projects. You are invited to see the lessons from this past summer:
Note: These lessons are presented to the students by teachers or senior sangha members who are familiar with the teachings of Yoga, Vedanta, and Sankhya. For more information contact us